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Nicholas de Barry at Prego, Taj Coromandel

Nicholas de Barry at Prego, Taj Coromandel

Prego was THE first truly fine dine restaurant in Chennai! With clearly defined courses, wine pairing and no nonsense cuisine, this restaurant has survived the test of time! And maybe for the first time, the restaurant has tried something truly different; attempting to combine perfumes with food! When I was invited by the Taj and read the press release, I expected a Heston type experience but this was completely different! Nicholas de Barry, a master perfumer based in Paris, who recreates ancient perfumes, creates customised perfumes for individuals (read kings, heads of state, etc) was on a India tour with the Taj group and in Chennai, he chose to showcase his skill with Prego and along with Chef Alok, the executive chef at Taj, created a memorable evening. Nicholas was very quick to admit that none of his art will work with Indian cuisine. "The Indian chef at the other restaurant created food with so much aroma that I cannot match that," he said. "So, he

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Bricklane Grill, Bangalore

Bricklane Grill, Bangalore

My colleagues who travel to Bangalore more often that I do, have been bitten by the 'Eating Out' bug. Since they don't have a Bangalore Foodie blog, they have started eating out in new places and when I go to Bangalore, I am told what places to try! Ha. Yes. So this time, a couple of days before I went there, they had eaten at this place, they called ESCAPE and were dying to show off their find! So we landed at Indira Nagar 100 feet road and took a left somewhere and I was dragged into a small boutique hotel! As I learned later, the name was Bricklane Grill, a rooftop restaurant inside Escape Hotel. I loved the outdoor setting! It takes you on a white holiday and with a swimming pool located right at the edge, the ambiance has been created with a lot of thought! Being a weeknight, it was rather empty when we went and so we got seated in a very comfortable couch right next to the swimming pool! They looked disappointed that we didn't order alcohol and w

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Breakfast Series - Hyatt Regency

Breakfast Series - Hyatt Regency

The brunches is the city are slowly but steadily moving towards Lunches-called-Brunches!!!! The last time I had a proper brunch on a Sunday was at The Park last year, which had a good selection of breakfast foods, but the next few lunches, at Marriott, Leela and the likes have all become lunches. Few, if not all, had almost no breakfast dishes on the brunch menu! No pan cakes, dosa, waffles were there in any of their brunches. I guess, the Chennai market, doesn't allow them to do it, so no point cribbing. But if you walk into a Saravana Bhavan on a Sunday morning, you will realise that Chennai does have a huge market for breakfast! Maybe the vast majority don't prefer the brunch, which is essentially eating a late breakfast and lunch together! Maybe we prefer to eat lunch at lunch time and breakfast at breakfast time! So poor me was made to wake up early on Sunday just to eat a good breakfast! After deciding that the only way to get a good breakfast wa

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Yanni, Live in Chennai!

Yanni, Live in Chennai!

An Epic Test match. Sachin Tendulkar at his best. My friend and me, in our school days, paid through the nose from our pocket money to watch the last day of the game. Sachin cruises. And then......in a flash, India lost. Pakistan won on Indian soil. The crowd was stunned. Silence. And then the crowd did something, almost unthinkable! No. No bottles were thrown like it happened at Eden Gardens, Kolkatta. No booing like it happened at Wankade, Mumbai when the then Indian captain was given out. Chennai stood up and gave Pakistan a (standing) ovation. Pakistani players looked stunned, but happy. Chennai earned its name as the best cricketing audience in the world. Almost 17 years later. Yesterday, Yanni was stunned. Piano concerts are supposed to be quiet. Music. Applause. Music. Applause. Speech. Applause. Music. Applause. Yeah, right. Not in Chennai. Yanni, Yanni, Yanni, Yanni went the crowd. Yanni was speechless. Chennai crowd went ballistic. They echoed, clapped with the drum

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Spaghetti Kitchen

Spaghetti Kitchen

When this friend of mine said that he was going to Spaghetti Kitchen, I asked him where it was! He almost threw a fit. "What?" "You don't know where it is?" "Are you really Chennai Foody?" were some of the abuses I had to endure. "Dude, its the latest thing in Italian and it is on the top floor of Express Avenue mall," he said, finally answering my question. As I learnt a day later, it is at the Phoenix Mall! So much for our friend's knowledge! On a saturday night, after returning the abuses, four of landed there and the place wasn't full, but was reasonably packed. Blame it on the exams? After Focaccia, my taste for Italian went up one notch and after a great lunch at Tuscana the previous day, I was telling myself to keep expectations under check. After settling down, we asked for a Burnt Tomato and Basil soup as recommended by the waiter and all four of us liked it very much. It had a very slight burnt tomato fl

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New Menu at Tangerine

New Menu at Tangerine

With two good meals in the last two outing at Tangerine, I was excited to meet the owner of Tangerine. Finally. Dropping in sharp at the appointed time, the unassuming owner walks in and from that time on till desert, he took the four of us on a road trip down Tangerine, its menu, its new menu and the likes. First things first, a lot of dishes on Tangerine's menu have been thought of in house and he takes pride that a few names might mean something else in a different world.  Now that makes a lot of sense! Every time I go to Tangerine, the first page of the menu is always called the 'New Menu' and that day we found out that they change their menu every six months and the popular stuff from the 'new menu' gets integrated to their regular menu. Apparently, they do this every six month. Religiously. In the process,  they wean out unpopular stuff from their existing menu, so this gives them a fairly updated menu. During the course of the meal, I discover

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Yuatcha, Bangalore

Yuatcha, Bangalore

What does Chinese cuisine mean to you? Manchurian? OK. What does Indian cuisine mean to you? Naan and Chapati or Idly and Dosa? Vada paav or Biriyani? Chettinadu chicken gravy or Butter chicken masala? Since China is a bigger country that India, how can there be one cuisine? However, Chinese cuisine is foreign to India (though it has been around long enough to be called Indian in most small restaurants which is essentially our Indo- Chinese), but Chinese cuisine itself has four major varieties. Yuatcha serves the Cantonese version of Chinese and is essentially a dim sum bar. No, there is no chicken manchurian.  Uniquely, the restaurant which was started in London has three outlets in India!!! After a meeting in Bangalore and before taking our ride back to Chennai, the three of us decided to while away the two hours at 1MG Road and I remembered that Yuatcha came with a lot of recommendations! Being in the vicinity, I dragged the other two along and within n

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